Jharrel Jerome performed in his high school production of Lin-Manuel Miranda's musical, In the Heights, in 2014

By Eric Todisco
September 23, 2019 12:59 PM

Lin-Manuel Miranda got a blast from the past when he ran into newly crowned Emmy winner Jharrel Jerome at the awards show.

On Monday morning, the Hamilton star tweeted out a selfie from the Emmy Awards of himself and Jerome, who won the statuette on Sunday night for outstanding lead actor for his role in When They See Us. In the caption, Miranda revealed that unbeknownst to him initially, the two men had actually met before.

“I meet the brilliant @JharrelJerome, who looked SO familiar in @ava’s heartbreaking work of art, @WhenTheySeeUs. He tells me, ‘I don’t know if you remember me, but you came to my high school performance of In The Heights, I played Usnavi,'” wrote Miranda, 39. 

And thanks to another Twitter user, there was video evidence from five years ago of Miranda watching Jerome belt out tunes from his acclaimed Broadway musical.

RELATED: When They See Us‘ Jharrel Jerome Dedicates First Emmy to the Exonerated Five

“YESSS this is the video of one of the rehearsals when you visited them!!!!” the Twitter user wrote, to which Miranda replied, “Oh my god yeah there we are” with a crying emoji.

In the video, dated “Fall 2014,” Jerome, now 21, is performing songs from In the Heights with his classmates at LaGuardia High School. The teenager takes on lyrics sung by Usnavi de la Vega, the narrator and main character from the play who was portrayed by the Tony winner.

Miranda is clearly impressed by Jerome and the other students music talents, as he sways to the tunes and laughs in enjoyment with faculty members watching the performance.

Jerome’s victory on Sunday night marked the first time that the young actor was nominated and won an Emmy Award — and he fought back tears while accepting his award on stage.

jharrel jerome
Kevin Winter/Getty

“I feel like I should just be in the Bronx right now chilling, waiting for my mom’s cooking or something, but I’m here in front of my inspirations,” Jerome began. He then thanked his parents and family before dedicating his win to the Exonerated Five.

“Of course Ava [DuVernay], thank you for giving me this opportunity,” the first-time Emmy winner said. “Most importantly, this is for the men that we know as the Exonerated Five,” who were in the audience.

As Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Yusef Salaam, Raymond Santana, and Korey Wise stood at Jerome’s dedication, they received a standing ovation from many members of the audience.

Jharrel Jerome When They See Us
Atsushi Nishijima/Netflix

RELATED: The Real Central Park 5 Join Ava Duvernay on Emmys Red Carpet for When They See Us

The Bronx native portrays Wise in the four-part series, which tells the true story about five Black and Latino teens who were wrongfully convicted of raping a white woman in 1989, eventually referred to as the Central Park Five, or the Exonerated Five.

The actor’s breakthrough role came back in 2016, when he starred as the teen version of Kevin in Moonlight, alongside fellow category nominee, Ali.

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